dough/pastry/pasta board?

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Alphaville
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dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

so, weather is finally getting to where one might want to light an oven here in the northern hemisphere.

i make lean dough breads (flour, water, salt, yeast), mostly in a bucket, but need a surface to divide/shape loaves

my wife will start with enriched doughs and things that require cutting etc (crackers, cookies)

plus i might start with handmade pasta. no machine, just slash by hand.

plus the idea of meat pies... oh...

the kitchen counters (rental) are the useless type that looks good but damages easy, so we need a board to work on doughs

i’m finding 2 types sold:

SILICONE: they are lightweight and cheap, but i’m wondering if they can stand up to a sharp knife or frequent cutting tools?
e.g. see:
https://www.amazon.com/Oudisen-Silicone ... 07F6TXL2X/

WOOD: these look great but are $$ (one benjamin and up) and since i have no carpentry workshop and can’t drive to a wood supplier, diy possibility looks murky. the good ones are sort of “s” shaped where the bottom hooks to the edge of the counter and you can flip it
e.g. see:
https://www.amazon.com/Pastry-Bread-Map ... 01LXNVI3X/

this is just a poll to see what your experience is with either type of board and help guide my research. also if you have any DIY suggestions for a wooden board that would come out cheaper than purchased and fast enough to construct (8h labor?), that would be ideal.

thanks in advance.
Last edited by Alphaville on Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by jacob »

Lets make the bench hook out of pine instead of maple. You will need a[ny kind of] saw. Freehand is fine.

Does HomeDepot count as one of the wood suppliers you can't drive to?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Edge-Glued- ... /202017002
https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-in-x-2-in ... /100009348

Cut to length. Glue it together with this. Either use clamps or just stack as much weight as you have on top. Do one side at a time.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Titebond-II ... /202960636

If you don't like glue, you can also use screws. I prefer these (they are self-tapping). You need a #2 square bit. They stick out, but it doesn't matter here.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Kreg-8-1-1- ... /100572559

With 8 minutes of labor and $30 you can make three!

Since it's not going to get wet, I wouldn't bother with surface treatment.

If you have clamps, you can make the board by gluing together a bunch of 1x6s, 1x8s, or 1x12x edge to edge. It won't look as nice as this w/o planing the sides, but it doesn't really need to. Buying panels is for lazy people. In that case, you can make even more for about $20.

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by Alphaville »

ah, good idea, thanks! indeed, looks are not so important here.

panel + 2 common pine strips is very doable. might even add dowels.

building from strips, laziness aside, my worry would be lack of precision edges leaving gaping holes where food would accummulate/decompose... maybe if there’s such thing as food grade wood filler 🤔

i have carpentry tools in my covid-restricted rural home, but in the city apartment my toolbox is for bicycles... going to fetch the tools would be a logistical nightmare in these strange times.

what’s a good place to purchase wood panels online? is this a good one? https://www.rockler.com/maple-by-the-pi ... c760d42dd6


ETA: oh, all pine, doh! i just realized... ok!

ETA, 2: i think i finally see: https://woodandshop.com/how-to-make-a-b ... s-cutting/
Last edited by Alphaville on Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by jacob »

W/o edge planing, the joint is not going to be invisible (like on the commercial board), but there are not going to be gaps unless the wood is really banged up. If you go with a 1x12, you only need to join once.

If you have clamps, what you can do is clamp the boards together side to side, like a folded book. Then glue some sandpaper to a flat piece of wood as use that instead of a plane. Then make some passes(*) to "improve the situation". What this guy is doing: https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/hand ... int-edges/ Insofar you understand what's going on with the matching angles, it will be slightly better than joining the raw surfaces.

(*) As in "don't sand the h* out of it". In particular you want to avoid creating a hump in the middle which will leave a gap at the ends. That's a common rookie-jointer mistake. This could quickly turn into an exercise in frustration.

I don't know anything about eating food grade wood filler. I'd worry more about that than microscopic particles of old flour. Here's a tortilla press I made out of 2x4s early during the pandemic. You can see some of the joints. Yet we're not dead yet :)

Image

basuragomi
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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by basuragomi »

I knead my dough in a metal mixing bowl, and we use a metal half-sheet baking tray for dividing/shaping/cutting things. We got a plastic pastry scraper which works quite well for all sorts of cutting/gathering tasks. I use metal loaf pans instead of shaping loaves though. I make sourdough frequently and have made crackers, paratha, challah, puff pastry, shortcrust, all sorts of stuff this way.

Is wood really mandatory for making bread? Industrial bakeries use steel and plastic for every part of the baking process. If you bake loaves on a tray you've got the materials already. There's no requirement to knead bread on a flat surface, high hydration breads practically demand a bowl anyways.

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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by jacob »

Rockler is a popular place/chain for fancy woodworkers. Woodcraft is also popular. It's where I get my fancy woods. Note that HomeDepot ships as well. HD also has a small selection of hardwoods. If you go to HD in person, you can have them do the sawing for (IIRC) $0.25 per cut. I've also seen one home improvement store with a free miter saw for customer use. I forget which one.

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by Alphaville »

basuragomi wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:09 am
yeah, my high hydration doughs are mixed in a bucket and i use plastic dough scrapers

the surface would be more for things that are rolled out and cut: cookies, crackers, pies, pasta, etc.

which, if not cutting, i’d just get a silicone mat (or plastic?), but it’s the cutting that worries me.

my half sheets are aluminum. i thought it was bad to scratch them? especially with steel cutting tools.

so... plastic cutting mats, maybe? hm, there’s an idea...

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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by jacob »

If it's mainly about not scratching the/any surface, can't you just use the back of a kitchen/bread knife to cut the dough?

(Our baking is done directly on a flour-covered counter top. No worries about scratching it. It's already pretty scratched.)

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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by jennypenny »

You can go to a place that sells stone and marble countertops and find a marble remnant that's big enough. You'd have to glue grips to the bottom to make sure it doesn't slide around or pay them to finish an edge with a lip so it fits snugly against your countertop. I'd recommend getting one small enough to fit in your refrigerator so you can chill it before rolling.

Do the cutting on a wood cutting board so you don't dull your knives or use a wire to cut right on the marble.

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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:34 am
If it's mainly about not scratching the/any surface, can't you just use the back of a kitchen/bread knife to cut the dough?

(Our baking is done directly on a flour-covered counter top. No worries about scratching it. It's already pretty scratched.)
if i had built this kitchen i’d have steel tables from a restaurant equipment auction or similar. residential kitchen designs are ridiculous in my view: just for the looks.

but living in a fancy rental requires that i preserve the place as i received it, or pay through the nose for damages. a $20 mat can save $2000 (or more?) for spiffy countertop replacement.
jennypenny wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:40 am
stone and marble [...] chill it before rolling.

Do the cutting on a wood cutting board so you don't dull your knives or use a wire to cut right on the marble.
aahhhh so marble is for pies? i was shopping around and wondered what it was for. cookies too i guess. i’ve never done much dessert baking.

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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by jennypenny »

Yes, marble is good for that, especially if you chill it first because it keeps the dough colder while you work it. If you're only making unformed loaves of bread it's probably not worth it.

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by Alphaville »

ah, will put marble in my future list, as things might develop.

meanwhile found a tutorial for a diy pastry board but i lack many tools & skills & space to work on this (assuming “nice”)

https://www.lowes.ca/ideas-how-to/diy/k ... stry-board

nevertheless, looking for “pasta board” instead of pastry, found this baby:

https://www.ebay.com/i/233333533055

which maybe it’s a bit small but it’s the right idea and the price is nice. beech wood? made in italy?

same item (i think?)sells for a few bucks more in amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Eppicotispai-201 ... 7VLJ7FZ4/r but why pay more?

one says beech the other says birch...

seems like pasta is the right search term....

but then... plywood! plywood is an even better search term. i just need a damn piece of plywood? hahahaha!

eta: https://www.rockler.com/3-4-baltic-birch-plywood

NOICE

30x24” is a big work surface too...

-


eta: better yet: https://www.rockler.com/1-4-baltic-birch-plywood

it’s a little cheaper than woodcraft: https://www.woodcraft.com/products/balt ... -x-24-x-30

but shipping might change things

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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by jacob »

Don't use plywood for food. It's made out of all kinds of funny glue products. Also, unless it's marine grade ($$$), it doesn't do well with moisture.

Alphaville
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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:07 pm
funny glue products[...] moisture.
oh no! and here i thought i'd score a giant pasta board for $12.50

the italian pasta board i found is made of birch plywood, which is what led me to it

i don't plan a lot of moisture on it, as the thing would be floured. but yeah, there'd be some... humidity i guess

i guess i'm back to the beginning, but now with more knowledge of the options

i might go back to the silicone mat and get some plastic cutting utensils instead... actually i have 2 half-sheet silicone baking mats already: not a massive unbroken surface but might work...

or i might cut directly on the counter, but with plastic cutting tools, actually... stupid "quartz" countertop nonsense... but yeah, a nylon knife might be the answer to all

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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

A chipmunk died from gnawing its way through some pressed board into my 1970s camper. That glue is poison.

You could also try just using/reusing parchment paper. I do this a lot because I love how the cookies just slide and the sheets never need to be scrubbed.

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Re: dough/pastry board?

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:00 pm
A chipmunk died from gnawing its way through some pressed board into my 1970s camper. That glue is poison.
damn, that’s the true essense of tragicomedy. :)

i’m wondering though if things have changed or what, cuz check it out:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Eppicotispai ... /667537526

this is the manufacturer:
http://www.eppicotispai.it/?home/lang:en

the product is in this brochure:
http://www.eppicotispai.it/?brochure-we ... love-pasta

does anybody know about european regulations for this kind of thing?

maybe i’ll write to the company, but i seriously doubt they’ll reply “sì, il nostro multistrato è velenoso”

eta: “betulla fenolico” looks like it https://falegnameriaroma.wixsite.com/il ... ultistrato (betulla=birch)

“the gluing is resistant to humidity” it says, but phenol glues are not food safe, right? 🤔

eta: i’ve updated the thread title to include pasta boards.

...

i don’t like parchment, not just because more trash but also because if i run out i can’t cook.

i might settle for a very big anti-slip silicon mat (36x24” or something) and nylon utensils. rolls away easy when not in use



hubba hubba (literally, from scratch!)

note he uses a chopping board to cut :lol:
Last edited by Alphaville on Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by jacob »

It's probably coated which seals in the funny stuff and seals out the moisture. Do you cut into pasta boards? It's also conceivable they make their own plywood. For example, the Titebond I mentioned above is food safe for indirect contact, so gluing together a few thin sheets of wood with that would be fine. Otherwise plywood glues/resins often contain formaldehyde which eventually off-gases.

Good plywood is often made out of birch, at least the surface layers. Beech is a different type of [hard]wood that is common in Europe but uncommon in America. It's frequently used for tools and also workbenches. In the US, hickory and oak is often favored for that.

FWIW, I use pine because I'm a cheap bastard. Peasants have historically used [milk-painted] pine while the gentry used [varnished or waxed] hardwood.

I've noticed that my personal solution process often proceeds like 1) DW asks me if I can build X. 2) I start looking into DIY X methods. 3) Eventually this unlocks a solution that either doesn't require X or has a much simpler fix.

The simplest solutions so far have been parchment paper + using back of knife to cut.

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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

yeah i cut pasta with a sharp knife, and there are also pasta cutters you roll or punch with, etc (i’m looking at hand tools, not a “pasta machine” which is a whole apparatus with a crank i’d prefer not to have).

eg see: https://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips ... y-hand.asp

parchment slides on the counter and would not solve the cutting problem, plus it requires continuous resupply. i might still get some...

i remember now also that kneading on the counter was a sticky mess and hard to clean so i won’t do bare counters.

so far silicone mat might be the simplest for my needs... except for vulnerability to blades.

wood would be the “all in one” solution but pricier to buy and/or hard+pricey for me to build (lacking skills+tools)



eta: check out this dude’s workflow: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew-3-8itpjc

“unfinished raw wood surface” is needed, he says

that’s a professional table though.

here this baker demonstrates shaping high hydration loaves on a boos board (you can spy the logo on certain camera angles)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vEG1BjWroT0

ken forkish uses a marble counter but that’s too rich for my blood...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MPdedk9gJLQ

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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by Alphaville »

i’m looking at maple suppliers now, because if i’m getting into the mess that is woodworking i’d better do it for a worthy cause, i.e. a “lifetime” dough board, sort of like the one that guy built in one of the videos i posted above... (this one). well, more modest, but still, permanent.

7Wannabe5
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Re: dough/pastry/pasta board?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

You can wash parchment paper and reuse it if you don’t bake it. You could try stitching some parchment paper to a tea towel for added heft. When you bake with it, you can still reuse it several times. The parchment paper takes the place of extra flour and lubricant which also must be replaced as used up. You can melt candy into the middle of your cookies like stained glass windows if you use parchment paper.

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